LONDON: Increasing investment in its brands has brought some "fabulous" results for Premier Foods, the ambient grocery supplier, its chief executive has claimed.

He was referring specifically to Mr Kipling, its cake brand, which had seen the introduction of new product ranges in the past year and a return to TV advertising after a gap of several years.

Speaking after the company announced its annual financial results, Gavin Darby said this investment had helped reverse category decline and reported 19% volume growth and 8% sales growth for Mr Kipling itself.

"We have a perfect set of KPIs," he declared: "Volume growth, revenue growth, share growth, penetration growth and frequency of purchase growth.

"This is the result of investing, bringing in innovations, the advertising relaunch, [and] seasonal products at Easter," he added.

These figures backed his assertion that the company's strategy is working. Over the whole year, sales of its power brands were down 4.5%, but the rate of decline had slowed from -6.4% in the second financial quarter to -3.5% in the final one.

This followed Darby's earlier announcement that marketing investment would almost double in winter 2014/15 compared to the previous year, with more being spent in Q1 2015 than in Q4 2014.

"There is a strong correlation between where we're investing and the return on the brands and categories in which we're doing it," he said.

"Over the last twelve months, six of our major brands have benefited from TV advertising and we have launched a number of new products to market, with more to come this year."

Another two of its major brands will be appearing on TV, bringing the total to eight, while the company also intends to almost double its rate of innovation from 11.3% in 2014 to 20%.

Data sourced from Premier Foods, The Drum, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff